GOP looks for path forward on energy bill amendments

GOP looks for path forward on energy bill amendments
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Senators have filed nearly 200 amendments to the energy policy rewrite bill currently being considered on the Senate floor, and GOP leaders say they are “redoubling” their efforts to work through the list this week. 

Lawmakers approved 11 amendments to the bill last week, and  Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril McCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' GOP senator calls on Trump to end 'cruel' family separation policy MORE (R-Alaska), a bill cosponsor and the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Monday that members should expect many other amendments to hit the floor this week. 

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“Eleven is a good number, but honestly I had hoped that we would have been able to process more amendments last week,” she said in a floor speech. “I want to move forward and process even more over these next couple days.”

Senators last week accepted amendments related to nuclear energy research, funding for advanced energy and a report on crude oil exports, among other things. 

Many of the amendments brought to the floor last week won broad bipartisan support, but there are high-profile and potentially contentious measures still in the hopper. 

A group of Democrats, led by Michigan’s senators, hopes to attach a $600 million aid package for Flint, Mich. to the bill. California’s two senators last week introduced an amendment calling for a formal federal response to a methane leak at a natural gas storage facility in the state. Others have introduced partisan amendments that could potentially divide the chamber.

Murkowski said she and her staff — and that of Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellEnergy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers MORE (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the energy panel and a bill co-sponsor — are working through the amendment backlog to figure out which will get votes this week. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 6B defense bill Poll: Kim Jong Un has higher approval among Republicans than Pelosi The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix MORE (R-Ky.) encouraged members to try keeping the legislation as bipartisan as possible. 

“Talk to the senator from Alaska and Washington and get your amendments dealt with,” he said on Monday.

“This is bipartisan legislation that provides a common-sense approach to help Americans produce more energy, pay less for energy and save energy, all without raising taxes or adding to deficit. Let’s keep working to move this process forward. Let’s keep working to pass this bipartisan bill.